State of Israel
Peres Centre for Peace
The Peres Peace House
Wednesday 20th of February 2013
Dear Mr President,
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is a people’s initiative whose proceedings were launched in 2009 in response to a call from Ken Coates, Chairman of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Nurit Peled, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2001, and Leila Shahid, Ambassador of Palestine to the European Union (EU). The RToP follows on the footsteps of the people’s tribunals established by the philosopher Bertrand Russell on Vietnam (1966-1967) and the Lelio Basso International Foundation for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples of Latin America (1974-1976).
Noting the failure of third parties to push Israel to respect fundamental international legal norms and to comply with their international obligations, the RToP seeks to contribute to a just resolution of the conflict by mobilizing public opinion, enhancing the role of civil society and providing it with the legal tools it requires to take action.
On March 17, the RToP will convene for its closing session in Brussels. At this event, the members of the Jury will review the findings of the previous four international sessions of the RToP, which highlighted the complicity of third parties (the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and multinational corporations) in breaches of international law by Israel in Occupied Palestine.
The Jury of the RToP will be composed of figures that are known for their activism in support of peace and justice: Dennis BANKS, Angela DAVIS, John DUGARD, Lord Anthony GIFFORD, Miguel Angel ESTRELLA, Stéphane HESSEL, Ronald KASRILS, Mairead Corrigan MAGUIRE, Michael MANSFIELD, Cynthia MC KINNEY, José Antonio Martin PALLIN and Roger WATERS.
We would like to formally invite you to take part in this historic event. We would also like to seize this opportunity of this letter to ask you, in your position as Nobel Prize winner, President of the State of Israel and someone that has always advocated a just and durable peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, to free Marwan Barghouti. This would enable him to be in Brussels with us on these two days. Such a gesture from you would certainly be as important as the one F.W de Klerk did with Nelson Mandela in 1991. It would also mark a new beginning for Israeli-Palestinian relationships that I am sure will be a revolution in itself.
We thank you in advance for taking this letter into consideration and for letting us know if you can participate in the event.
With best regards,
General Coordinator of the RToP